Psychology - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Part-time: apply direct to the University
Full Time (3 years), Part Time (5 years)
September 2016, September 2017

This course is now full for September 2016.

View other Social Sciences courses or our full list of Clearing courses.

If you’re interested in human behaviour and want to investigate the factors which contribute to general patterns of behaviour, psychological functioning and experience, then the study of psychology could be right for you.

The course is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society and we offer a fascinating investigation into how individuals behave, think, perceive and interact with the world, as well as the impact others can have on them.

New for 2017/18

Psychology - BSc (Hons)*

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

*This course is subject to approval.

Summary of our new course

Our Psychology course offers a fascinating investigation into how individuals behave, think and interact with the world. Equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge needed for future employability.

You will get to work in state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories, observation suites, counselling rooms and specialist software, which has helped former students progress into roles with charities such as NSPLC Childline and the West Midlands Ambulance Service. The course is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society, ensuring its content remains cutting-edge and relevant. 

Sign up for course updatesBenefits of our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

The course helps you answer questions such as why criminals re-offend, why people become depressed, and why certain individuals are prone to psychological or mental disorders. You’ll also explore the key areas of psychology, including their historic and scientific development, and relevance to contemporary issues.

You’ll learn to think critically and creatively, gain appropriate research methods and skills, and explore the ethical considerations within psychological research.

You’ll be able to tailor your degree through a choice of optional modules in a range of psychological disciplines including: health, criminal, forensic, business and organisational.

In your final year, you’ll conduct research into an area of psychology of your choice, supervised by a specialist tutor.

“Birmingham City University offers a great start to your career. You need to play hard but work even harder as the course is very demanding of your time and effort, but it will all be worth it in the end.” Mandip Kaur Narewal

Why Choose Us?

  • Industry-leading experts teach on this course, including Professor Craig Jackson, whose areas of expertise are based around investigative psychology, deviance and psychopathology in the workplace and unusual occupations.
  • We have excellent facilities including laboratories, an observation suite, counselling rooms and specialist software, such as E-Prime, SPSS, Pinnacle Studio and NVIVO.
  • We have a strategic partnership with high-security prison HMP Grendon; the only prison in Europe that operates as a therapeutic community, where psychological treatment is the central activity.
  • When you graduate you can apply for Graduate Basis - Chartered Membership of the Society (GBC), enabling you to train or study in chartered psychology divisional areas.
  • School of Social Sciences’ research into decency, respect, equality and diversity has impacted on UK prison policy and practice
  • School of Social Sciences’ research in prisons has helped rehabilitate prisoners, improving their employability and reducing re-offending.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 8 October 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.

This course is open to International students

School of Social Sciences

Discover the School of Social Sciences

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Lazar UK
  • NSPLC Childline
  • NEC

And in jobs such as:

  • Counsellor
  • Financial Advisor
  • Operation Admin Co-ordinator

This course is accredited by:

The British Psychological Society

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

At the point of enrolment you must have GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above. Equivalent qualifications will be considered, however Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy are not accepted.

280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels, excluding General Studies.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level Minimum of 2 at A2 Level or equivalent, excluding General Studies. Remaining points can be made up with a maximum of 2 AS Levels in different subjects.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3, of which 18 Level 3 credits are at merit or distinction on a social sciences/Humanities pathway.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points. This excludes BTEC Health and Social Care subjects.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) DMM - 280 UCAS points. This excludes BTEC Health and Social Care subjects.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points. This excludes BTEC Health and Social Care subjects.
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2016/17
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

280 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
predicted DMM at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

More about unconditional offers

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year
PT 5 years £1,125 per 15-credit module
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
PT 5 years TBC

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £12,000 per year
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

This course is now full for September 2016.

You will be able to apply for 2017/18 via UCAS from 6 September 2016.

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Core modules

Core modules on this course are based on the GBC psychology areas recommended by the BPS. Areas on which these modules will be based are:

Cognitive Psychology
Biological Psychology
Research Methods Quantitative
Research Methods Qualitative
Social Psychology
Individual Differences
Developmental Psychology
Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology
Empirical Work

Other areas represented as core modules are:

  •          Psychopathology and Abnormal Psychology
  •          Origins in Psychology
  •          Contemporary Issues and Psychology
  •          Emerging Debates in Psychology


There is also a strong emphasis on skills that enhance the employability of psychology undergraduates, as represented by the Personal Development Planning in Psychology modules.

Optional modules

As an option, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore both chartered and non-chartered areas in Psychology and Applied Psychology during levels 5 and 6. Examples of these modules are:

  • Health Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Occupational Psychology
Applied Areas of Psychology
  • Coaching Psychology
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Cultural Psychology
  • Popular Images and Psychological Understanding

How you learn

The course covers a broad range of psychology disciplines: health, criminal, forensic, business and organisational.

Psychology derives from the Greek words “psyche” meaning mind, soul, spirit and “logos” (knowledge, discourse or study) and psychology literally means the study of mind and behaviour.

This course will provide you with the understanding of the core GBC syllabus which is specified by the British Psychological Society.

It will provide you with:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the main areas of psychology, including their historic and scientific development, conceptualisation and explanation of psychological thinking, functioning and behaviour and relevance to contemporary issues.
  • The development of knowledge and understanding of the application of psychology to specialist areas within the discipline.
  • The development of appropriate research methods, research skills and ethical considerations required within psychology research and their application to your dissertation.
  • The ability to think critically and creatively about theoretical, empirical and applied issues in psychology and their inter-relationships.
  • Active learning and transferable skills that are appropriate for a psychology graduate.
  • The ability to meet the standards set by the British Psychological Society for eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).

Studying psychology with us also gives you the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of specialist departments within the Division of Psychology.

In particular, we have long-established expertise in:

  • Counselling psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Organisational psychology

All of these are chartered areas in psychology. We also specialise in non-chartered areas.

The University has also been awarded the teaching of higher excellence where these high standards are seen within the classroom itself.

The Psychology Division comprises a highly qualified teaching and research team who ensure that you receive a high-quality experience.

You’ll be supported by specialist facilities such as psychology computer teaching laboratories, an E-Prime psychology laboratory, individual E-Prime laboratories and a counselling suite. Computers in the psychology laboratories are supported by E-Prime (E-Prime and individual laboratories), editing and research packages. Other equipment - such as a two-way mirror - also supports psychology experiments. All these facilities are maintained by dedicated technicians.

Our facilities are supported by state-of-the art software ranging from a new editing suite, feedback (audio and visual) cameras/equipment, and software such as E-Prime, SPSS, Pinnacle Studio and NVIVO.

To tailor your degree you’ll be able to choose optional modules within the areas of:

  • Health Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Organisational Psychology
  • Occupational and Workplace Psychology
  • Community Psychology
  • Popular Images and Psychological Understanding
  • Coaching Psychology
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Human Computer Interaction

Teaching breakdown

38 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
62 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

36 Written exams DarkOrange
59 Coursework FireBrick
5 Practical exams #fece5a

Student stories

Kimberly Stuart

Having previously worked with people with disabilities, Kimberley Stuart was keen to gain more background understanding of why people act the way they do. She arrived from the USA to study at Birmingham City University and now has plans to continue her education at Master's level.

Mandip Kaur Narewal

I chose to study Psychology at Birmingham City University mainly because the course had been accredited by the BPS. Not only that, the university received accreditation after its first inspection, and is the only post-1992 university to have done this. It had also received great reviews from the previous year which really influenced me. Even better, since I lived locally, all this was offered on my doorstep.

This course is accredited by the following organisations:

The British Psychological Society
The British Psychological Society

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which not only demonstrates the high quality of our teaching provision, but also ensures our course remains cutting-edge, fresh and relevant.

The Society and its members develop, promote and apply psychology for the public good. They enhance the efficiency and usefulness of psychologists by setting high standards of professional education and knowledge, and cover all areas of psychological research and practice.

Find out more about British Psychological Society accreditation.


These independent reviews show what our students really think:

"The facilities are brilliant. The feedback is good. The exams are tricky but you get the exam question well a head of the exam. Overall the content allows a individual to explore interesting topics in psychology."

Read all Which? Uni reviews

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

  • Masters courses in Psychology which are based on the chartered divisional areas in Psychology.
  • Doctorate research programmes in Psychology.
  • Masters courses in related fields outside psychology.

Student stories Joshua Rae

Secured a role in Human Resources

Attracted by the prospects of studying an interesting and varied psychology programme without moving too far from home, Joshua Rae has made the most of the opportunities to get involved in University life. And his studies have already paid off, as he has secured a role in human resources before graduation.

The most enjoyable part of the course is definitely the seminars. They allow you to discuss the topics learned in the lectures in more depth and often in interesting ways, such as debates.

David Wilson at The Future of Murder

The Future of Murder

Crime is changing and social media is altering how killers operate. Our academics, Professor David Wilson and Dr Elizabeth Yardley, debated what murder looks like in the 21st Century during our free Future of Murder talk. They were joined by columnist Erwin James, a convicted murderer, and prison governor Jamie Bennett.

Watch again

Enhancing your employability skills

A psychology degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities both within and outside the psychology field. Within the psychology field you can become a qualified psychologist, after postgraduate studies, leading to roles in clinical psychology, educational psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology and other career paths.

A psychology degree will also equip you with a host of transferable skills which can lead to careers such as human resources, counselling, teaching, research, government and many more.

The course is accredited by the British Psychological Society.  If you complete the course and obtain a 2:2 or above (including the completion of your empirical piece of work) you’ll also gain GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership) on graduation. This is a vital first step on the road to becoming a professional psychologist.

You’ll also gain valuable experience through our Employability Challenge Weeks, as well as our Leadership Challenge programme. Both give you the chance to apply your skills to innovative and exciting projects, industry talks and workshops. You’ll also receive guidance on how to complete application forms and write effective CVs.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate Jobs

Our graduates progress into a number of roles, working for companies and charities such as NSPLC Childline, The Island College and West Midlands Ambulance Service, working as specialist tutors, counsellors and house advisors.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our psychology course is most popular with international students from:  

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.

For those studying on the BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation pathway, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.

Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.

Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Devinder Rana

Senior Academic in Health Psychology and Programme Director BSc Psychology

Devinder has over 18 years of experience within the psychology sector. She has taught health professionals, worked with service users and worked as a consultant with private and public health-based companies. Her work within health extends to the publication of a health psychology textbook for nurses and allied health professionals.

Dr Keeley Abbott

Lecturer in Social Psychology

Dr Keeley Abbott is a Lecturer in Social Psychology at Birmingham City University, where she teaches critical psychology, gender and sexualities, and qualitative research.

Dr Elle Boag

Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology

After completing her BSc in psychology in 2006 at the University of Southampton, Elle Boag was awarded both the school of psychology prize and the BPS prize for best dissertation in the Wessex region. Subsequently, she continued onto an MSc in research methods in psychology which she completed in 2007.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295